Library Search accessibility

This page contains advice and help for using Library Search with a screen reader. If you are looking for full information about the accessibility of Library Search, you can view the Library Search accessibility statement

Screen reader guidance

UPDATE: There is currently an issue using NVDA (Firefox) with Library Search. When you do a search and go to the results region of the page, currently the only command that is working is the Tab key. None of the reading commands are working in the search results region. We are working with the thrid party supplier of the software used to provide Library Search and hope to resolve this issue as soon as possible. 

Doing a search

  • Skip links are included at the top of every page. The “Skip to Search” link will take you straight to the search box.
  • You can also access the search box via a list of form fields (Insert + F5 in JAWs). In Chrome the search box is referred to as "Search anything edit combo", and in IE11 as “Search anything Edit Search anything”. 

Viewing results and full text by tabbing on the results page

You can use the tab key to navigate the results list, to access the links to the full record for each item, and the full text link where available:

  • When you first tab into an item in the results list, all of the information for that item is read out, including the title, author, date, and associated links
  • When you tab forwards once more, you go to the checkbox to select the item. If you tab forwards once more you go to the title of the item which is also a link to the full record for the item. 
  • Tab forwards once more again, and you get to the Full text available link for that item, if it is available. This takes you directly to the full text.

Viewing results and full text using headings commands 

Each title in the results list is marked up as a heading (level 3), and so one way to navigate the results page is either to bring up a list of headings on the page and work through them (JAWs Insert + F6) or use the command to navigate by headings on the page (JAWs H). 

Filtering your results

There are a number of options available under the “Filter my results” heading which you can use if you want to narrow down your results. For example, Availability (including whether it is available in full text online), Resource type (e.g. newspaper articles, ebooks) and Subject.

Quickly getting to the filters

  • There’s a “Skip to filters” link at the top of the results page that will take you to the top of the Filter my results area where you can use filters to narrow your results.
  • "Filter my results" is a level 2 heading, so another way to access the filters would be to list all headings on the page (Insert + F6 in JAWs) and then select “Filter my results” (near the bottom of the list).

Filtering using just one option

If you only want to filter your results by one option (e.g. Full Text Online), it is best to tab past the checkbox for that filter option, and use the adjacent button instead. That way the filter will be applied instantly, and you won’t need to navigate to the "Apply Filters" button to apply the filter to your results.

Filtering using more than one option

If you want to use more than one filter option (e.g. Full Text Online and Newspaper Articles) you will need to select your filters using the relevant check boxes, and when you have finished you will need to use the “Apply filters” button. Here’s one way to do it (using JAWs):

  1. Tab through the filters, and select the checkbox next to each filter you want to use
  2. When you’ve finished selecting filters, you need to apply them to your results using the “Apply Filters” button. Bring up a list of form fields (Insert + F5 in JAWS) then find the "Apply Filters" button (you can press “a” until you find it in the list). Press enter twice to select and then activate the button.

Removing active filters

The “Reset filters” button will remove all filters that you have applied to your search:

  1. Bring up a list of form fields (Insert + F5 in JAWs)
  2. Find the "Reset Filters" button (you can press “r” until you find it in the list)
  3. Press enter twice to select and then activate the button.

My Favourites

You can add any of the items in your results list to your “My Favourites” list. When you go to My Favourites anything that you’ve selected will be listed there.

Adding items to My Favourites

  • In the results list, each item will have a “Add item to Favourites” button. Tab to the button for the item you want to keep, and press Enter.

Viewing items in My Favourites

  • Go to the "My Favourites" link in the main menu, or open up a list of links (Insert + F7 in JAWs) and choose “Go to My Favourites” from there
  • The items you have saved to My Favourites will be listed, and the item titles are heading level 3, so you can scan the titles using the heading command (H in JAWs).

If, after reading this page, you still have queries about using the service, please contact the Library Helpdesk on +44 (0)1908 659 001 complete a query form or chat to a member of OU library staff during our opening hours using our Webchat service.